Space Exploration (Space Innovations) by Ron Miller

By Ron Miller

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For twenty-two hours and thirty-six minutes, they were outside the spacecraft exploring Hadley Rille and the area around it. One of their most important discoveries was a small white rock found on the slopes of Mount Hadley. 5 billion years old. “I think we just found what we came for,” Scott declared. It was a piece left over from the formation of the Moon. Unfortunately, the astronauts spent a lot of time getting core samples.

Later, rocket-propelled fighters were developed by the Germans during World War II. The Germans did test flights of the Heinkel-176, the first liquid-fuel rocket aircraft, in 1939. In 1941 the batlike Messerschmidt Me-163 rocket plane made its first powered flight. Pilot Heini Dittmar reached a speed of nearly 624 miles (1,004 km) per hour. It was the first aircraft to exceed 621 miles (1,000 km) per hour—more than 80 percent of the speed of sound (761 mph [1,225 km/h] at sea level). On a second flight that day, champion German glider pilot Hanna Reitsch achieved a speed of 624 miles (1,004 km).

S. mission was to the Moon—but not to land. Launched from Earth on December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 went into lunar orbit, circling the Moon ten times before firing its engines for its return to Earth. The crew spent Christmas 70 miles (113 km) above the lunar surface. They celebrated Christmas Eve by taking turns reading from the Bible’s book of Genesis. NASA sent Apollo 9 into orbit on March 3, 1969. It practiced rendezvous and docking maneuvers in Earth orbit. NASA launched Apollo 10 on May 18 of that same year.

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